612-644-9781 info@crossfitslipstream.com

New Year’s Resolution, or Back to Normal?

Ah, January in the fitness business!  The gyms are full, go to any store (online or in person) and the first thing you see is workout gear.  And of course, there are the blog posts and other musings from us in the industry – make THIS the year you stick to it, blah, blah, blah.  The industry doesn’t talk so much about December.  Thinking about that fact helped me finally realize something very important: New Year’s Resolutions come right after the insanity that we have made out of the Thanksgiving – to – New Year’s “Holiday Season”.  

Related: Why Technique is the Foundation of Training Philosophy

Maybe fitness – related New Year’s Resolutions are less an attempt to start something new than to return to something more like normality?  After seven weeks or so of running around with our hair on fire, responding to this familial obligation and that work event, church now and synagogue later, perhaps we just want to get back to (1) normal, and (2) being able to take care of ourselves?  

Thanks largely to yoga’s popularity,  our culture is finally beginning to admit that you need to – take care of yourself so that you can take care of others.  The Marine Corps also teaches this, but they aren’t as conveniently located as your friendly neighborhood yoga studio.  After an extended season focused outwardly, taking care of obligations to others, it’s only right to come back to yourself, to refresh and renew your health and regain the fitness lost to the general busyness of the season.

Related: Why Personal Training?

So to all you New Year’s Resolutioners: welcome back to normal.  We are here for you.  Contact me at john@crossfitslipstream.com for a free, no-sweat introduction to discuss your goals, and how we can help.

John Bryant

Founder & Head Trainer

Member Highlight – Meet Crystal!

1. Why did you decide to try CrossFit?
At the beginning of 2018, I was looking for a new fitness option.  I researched gyms near my home and Slipstream’s New You Challenge stood out as the best fit for me. I was able to ease into CrossFit with five other individuals who were also just starting out, so there was no intimidation factor. The nutrition component and the individualized attention also were very important for me.

2. How is having a CrossFit coach changed your workout or fitness results?
The coaches help me stay focused and accountable. I have some limitations due to previous ankle and leg injuries, and the coaches are spectacular at customizing the workouts so that I get the maximum results without getting frustrated by the things I can’t do.

3. How has doing CrossFit affected your health and/or life?
I joined the gym as a regular member after the Challenge ended, and I have been able to stay focused on my fitness goals by consistently doing the CrossFit workouts. This is a big win for me, and something I haven’t done consistently in many years. This is due to the fact that I enjoy the physical challenge of the workouts and the camaraderie of being a part of the Slipstream family. Also, I still utilize the nutrition tips and guidance from the New You Challenge—in fact, the food guide is still posted in my kitchen.

4. What is your favorite CrossFit movement?
For now, probably the front squat. It’s the movement where I have seen the most progress with both my form and the amount of weight I can lift.

5. What would you say to someone who is thinking about trying CrossFit?
Just try it! The New You Challenge is a great introduction to CrossFit and Slipstream. After the six weeks of the challenge, you will be hooked.

         

Introducing the Slipstream Consistency Club

We are excited to announce for 2019 our all new “Consistency Club!”

Earning  Consistency Club honors is a testament to your dedication to your goals. The more you’re at Slipstream giving it your all, the closer you get to your goals! The “Consistency Club” is a public recognition of your commitment to fitness and health.

Earning Consistency Club honors depends on your membership.  Think of it like goal setting – your membership type sets the goal.  Based on your membership, you must attend:

  • 8x: at least 8 times during the month
  • 12x: at least 12 times during the month 
  • Unlimited:  at least 13 times in one month
  • Lite punchcard: at least 8 times in one month

At the end of each month, we will announce who made the Consistency Club with the number of times attended next to their name!

Each month’s Consistency Club members are entered into a raffle to win some sweet prizes.  It begins January 1st, 2019!!!  Let’s go! 

Raffle Prize (examples)

  • Free mobility pack
  • One month membership upgrade
  • Free 1 hr personal training session
  • Free Functional Movement Screen
  • Free Body Fat Test
  • Free tee shirt
  • Etc…

Member Highlight- Meet Marcy!

1. Why did you decide to try CrossFit?
I wanted to try something new. I was getting bored with going to a gym or fitness center, and was finding it hard to self motivate at the gym.
2. How has having a CrossFit coach changed your workout or fitness results?
Being new to CrossFit, I had a lot of hesitations about it.  I was afraid of getting hurt, or falling behind in a class because I didn’t know the proper technique.  The coaches are wonderful in answering my questions or showing the proper technique of a movement.  They also are great at encouraging and pushing me, so I can get the best workout.
3. How has doing CrossFit affected your health and/or life?
CrossFit has been such a positive part of my life.  I look forward to coming to the classes, and pushing myself beyond my comfort level.  It is nice to work out with people of all different ages, backgrounds and fitness levels. 
4. What is your favorite CrossFit movement?
I can’t narrow it down to just one movement.  I will just at that I love Sunday workouts.  They tend to be a little bit longer than most, but I always enjoy starting off my day and week that way.
5. What would you say to someone who is thinking about trying CrossFit?
Don’t let the unknown, deter you from trying something new.  Don’t be afraid to ask questions or for clarification.  Try it.. you won’t be disappointed.

11 Gift Ideas For The CrossFitter

Wondering what to get the CrossFitter or soon-to-be CrossFitter in your life?  Not to worry!  Here are 11 gift ideas!

1. Rogue Jump Rope

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2. Becoming a Supple Leopard by Kelly Starrett

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3. CrossFit Slipstream Tank Arriving Soon- $20

4. Mobility Toys

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5. CrossFit Slipstream Towel $7.99

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6. CrossFit Socks

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7. CrossFit Slipstream WOD Log On Sale- $5

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8. CrossFit Slipstream TShirt $25

9. CrossFit Shoes

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10. Inside the Box

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11. CrossFit Slipstream Gift Certificate – The Perfect Stocking Stuffer!

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All CrossFit Slipstream items may be purchased in store, or email us at info@crossfitslipstream.com.

Why Personal Training: To Achieve a Specific Goal

We are all special snowflakes.  It’s trite, but true, and no one style of working out, exercise program or training template is right for everyone.  That’s why personal training is the gold standard for physical fitness.  Nothing else will target your needs more specifically, address your desires more directly, or get you to your goal faster than a program designed and implemented specifically for you and your goals.  This post inaugurates a series of blogs about the various reasons why you might choose personal training over group fitness such as CrossFit or another of the options we provide.

Related: The Slipstream Approach To Training

The drawback to personal training is, of course, expense.  Having a dedicated fitness professional draft and supervise a training program especially for you requires one-on-one time and attention, which costs money.  As with everything else in life, the real question is value: is it worth it to you?  We can help you clarify your answers to the questions “what do I want to do and why do I want to do it?”  We then help you analyze your options and decide on the best path to your goal. 

We can help you clarify your answers to the questions “what do I want to do and why do I want to do it?”

The first reason to consider personal training is to achieve a specific goal.  We start the process with the Functional Movement Screen and tests of functional strength and endurance.  These tell us where you are now.  Your goal determines where you want to go. The more specific your desire, the more targeted your timeline, the more issues you need to address, the more you need a specific training plan.  Your timeline determines the rate of progress required, and with it the intensity needed.

Related: Basic Truths of Fitness

We then produce a program you can follow with as much or as little assistance as your personal needs and wants allow.  You will need instruction and supervision for things you’re new to, and check-ins and adjustments for things you’re used to.  Your program can be drafted from scratch, or we can save time and money by adjusting a template we’ve created or from another source.  We’ll be with you as much as you need and no more, managing costs and allowing you to own the process – and your achievements.  We are here to help, as much or as little as you need.  Contact me at john@crossfitslipstream.com to take your dream and start making it a reality!

-John Bryant

Founder & Head Trainer

Member Highlight – Meet Ryan!

Ryan joined CrossFit Slipstream this Spring to train for the St. Paul Fire Dept Physical Fitness Test.  He improved his time by over 4 minutes from the first time he took the test to the final time.  He got a slam-dunk on the test with a time of 2:42!  This is a perfect score to be considered for the St. Paul Fire Dept interview process.  He consistently attended CrossFit for 6 months to prepare for this goal.  We are so impressed with his dedication!

1. Why did you decide to try CrossFit?
It looked fun yet challenging. Something different that wasn’t just free weights.

2. How is having a CrossFit coach changed your workout or fitness results?
They keep me motivated & energized. Push me to not only meet my goals but want to see me exceed those goals.

3. How has doing CrossFit affected your health and/or life?
It made me actually want to workout. I feel less sluggish. It’s not only made me stronger, but I’ve also become more flexible.

4. What is your favorite CrossFit movement?
Wall Ball, because it helps the most with everyday activities. Whether that picking up or lifting something overhead.

5. What would you say to someone who is thinking about trying CrossFit?
Why not? There’s nothing you should be intimidated by. You can’t have an opinion about it until you give it a try.

Basic Truths of Fitness

Success in the gym, as with most things in life, comes down to mastering the basics.  Much of the health and fitness industry in America is based on a convenient truth: everything works.  For six weeks.  Then it doesn’t.  But by then, they’ve got your money.  Then, it’s off to the next thing promising a way around these facts.  The sooner you accept and apply the truths below, the faster, better, and longer you’ll see genuine improvement in your health and fitness. 

Truth 1. It needs to be a habit.  Or: Consistency > Intensity.

The common pitch is to “get fit fast” (and you can do that with us and other fitness methods), but even when successful, fitness starts to fade within two weeks after you stop exercising.  Fitness is perishable.  Short-term goals can be great for getting you started and motivating you through the tough initial steps of forming a new habit.  But if there isn’t a long-term goal supporting you, it will be difficult to maintain a fitness habit after you either reach or fail to reach your short-term goal.

Most important is to stop acting like living a healthy life is a big deal. You can go to the gym three times a week. That can be “normal” for you. Not a sacrifice. Not an obligation. The more you treat fitness like a chore you have to do, the harder it will be.  When you learn to enjoy what you’re doing, it will be easy.  As Dr. Kelly Starrett says, “Don’t be heroic, be consistent.”

To get there, set a schedule, a long-term goal, and get a buddy to come with you.

Related: Why Technique Is the Foundation of a Training Philosophy

Truth 2.  You need to have a plan.

Living organisms adapt to imposed stress through a process called “supercompensation.”  That means that they not only repair damage done by the stressor, they build additional capacity in case the next stressor is even worse.  All physical training manipulates this response by stressing you just past your current capacity, allowing time and taking active steps to recover from that stress, giving your body time to supercompensate, and then stressing you a little more than last time.  This stress/recover cycle is both workout-to-workout and cycle-to-cycle (such as week-to-week). You can write your own plan or hire a trainer, or join a gym or group that provides one, just so long as you have one structuring your training.

Truth 3. You need to use functional movements.

The official CrossFit definition of “functional movement” is movements of the human body that “move large loads long distances, quickly.”  Notice that there isn’t anything in that definition which meets the more common understanding of “functional,” which is “practical, utilitarian, useful” and the like.  Fortunately, movements that are practical, utilitarian, and useful usually involve moving large loads over long distances quickly.  But it’s important to keep this in mind.  The Schwinn Air-Dyne and similar devices will apply a huge load to you very rapidly, but it doesn’t correspond to anything in you might do in the real world.

Fortunately, there are lots of things we can do in the gym that apply large loads and which do map to real world activities.  Squats.  Deadlifts.  Presses.  Pull-ups.  Sprints.

…the biggest and most dangerous mistake people make is going too hard too soon.

Truth 4.  Mechanics —> Consistency —> Intensity.

To get supercompensation, you need to push your limits.  However, the biggest and most dangerous mistake people make is going too hard too soon. Everyone wants to jump in and crush the workout (and themselves), because it seems like what everyone else is doing, or it’s macho, or they want to “win”.  Or they want to lose 30# yesterday because they’re going on spring break next week.  But you must first have the foundation in what we call “movement competency” – the ability to do the movements well, and do them well consistently.  Moving poorly is a sure road to injury.  Maybe not today or tomorrow, but it will catch up with you eventually, and when it does, it violates principle #1.  

The first step is to identify any mobility issues that limit your ability to move as an exercise requires.  And then address them.  The Functional Movement Screen is a great way to do that, and we’re happy to help.  Or you can DIY with resources like MobilityWOD.com.  You can still workout during this phase, just respect your current limitations, and gradually push them out, rather than trying to force your way to fitness.

Related: Stop “Stretching”! Do Mobility Work Instead

Truth 5. Record your workouts.

What gets measured, gets managed. If you don’t know how many sets and reps you did with a particular weight two weeks ago, how can you guarantee that you’re actually getting stronger? If you don’t know how fast you ran a half mile last month, how can you use it to help you pace your quarter mile repeats today?

Tracking your progress is simple: get a small notebook and write down your workouts. We sell them, or you can use your own.  There are also plenty of apps available for smartphones.

So, how to apply these truths to break through the boom-and-bust cycle?

  1. Set a schedule. When and where, exactly, are you going to train?

  2. Get a notebook and pen to record your training.

  3. Identify your mobility issues and start working on them.

  4. Select and learn exercises that relate to real-world activities.  Increase difficulty by moving better and more often, rather than increasing load, until you are moving well enough to confidently move with additional difficulty.  Only add enough to create additional challenge, and never to the point your technique is in doubt.

  5. Contact me with your questions at john@crossfitslipstream.com. 

John Bryant

Founder & Head Trainer

Twin Cities Marathon

Ahh, the first weekend in October!  Temperature could be 70, could be 20.  But the Twin Cities Marathon will take place!  For many participants, the Marathon is the day to reap the rewards of all the hard work they’ve put in over months of preparation.  To survive events as long as the marathon takes time – lots of time on the roads & trails and in the gym or studio well in advance of race day.

And that means planning.  To cover 26.2 miles in less than the official time limit of 6:15 requires making a decision that it is something that you want to do far enough in advance to allow you to prepare.  There a heaps of training plans for every level of experience, intensity, and motivation.  But if you’re not already running at least half marathons, all of them will take months and it’s up to you to choose one and put yourself in a position to follow it.

Related: CrossFit?  But I’m a Bike Racer/Runner/Obstacle Course Racer/Triathlete/Etc.

The simple way is to join a group that’s training for your goal marathon.  For your hometown race, that will be easy.  What’s less easy is to manage your schedule to accommodate the group, stay motivated and actually get the correct training in when you don’t have the support of the group, or to know what to do when illness, injury, work, or life in general throws a wrench into the plan.  The same goes when your goal is not your hometown race.



This is where having a coach will benefit you.  A coach can look at your recent preparatory races and workouts, gauge where you are now, and adjust your plan to help you reach your goal given the time remaining.  Your coach can also help you recognize and accept the need to adjust your goal when needed or possible.  Note the adjustment could be a faster time than previously expected!  Having a good estimate of what’s possible for you helps you set realistic goals – and stretch goals – that will maximize both your performance and your satisfaction with the outcome, even when things don’t go quite to plan or you come up a little short of your goal.

Related: Is This You: “Running Sucks!”

So if you’re inspired by this year’s marathoners to give it a go next year, consider hiring a coach to draft a training plan specific to you, or to help you choose and implement an existing plan.  Slipstream exists to support you in exactly this way – what do you want to do?  Where are you now?  What will it take to get you where you want to go? Contact me at john@crossfitslipstream.com to learn more about how we can help you reach your goals.

–John Bryant

Founder & Head Trainer

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